U.S. ordered to answer Calderon's complaint

Former state Sen. Ron Calderon (D-Montebello) was indicted last year on 24 felony charges, including accepting $88,000 in bribes. He has pleaded not guilty. (Manny Crisostomo / Sacramento Bee)

By Patrick McGreevy
February 21, 2015

A year after his indictment on federal corruption charges, former state Sen. Ronald S. Calderon awaits his day in court, working as a manager at a real estate firm and helping his attorneys sift thousands of documents that include transcripts from undercover FBI wiretaps.

Calderon, a Democrat from Montebello, was indicted in February 2014 on 24 felony charges that include accepting $88,000 in bribes in exchange for official actions. He has pleaded not guilty.
Most of these so-called offenses were completely manufactured by the government at the cost of millions of dollars to the taxpayer. – Mark Geragos, attorney for Ronald Calderon

Calderon, 57, lists himself on a website and in his voice mail greeting as an acquisitions manager at Red Hill Real Estate Solutions in Montebello.

“He is doing very well,” said his attorney, Mark Geragos. “He’s working and he’s got enormous support from his friends and family.”

The attorney said Calderon is helping with the 330,000 pages of discovery documents provided by the U.S. attorney’s office, including tapes and transcripts for 2,200 recorded telephone calls and meetings.

Assistant U.S. Atty. Mack E. Jenkins has supported two delays to allow the defense time to go through the material.

Asked about the prosecution’s readiness, Jenkins said, “We are anxious to see it go to trial.”

Calderon is accused of accepting bribes from an undercover FBI agent posing as a film industry executive, in exchange for advocating an extension of tax credits for film productions. Investigators also allege he took bribes from the owner of a medical firm in exchange for action on legislation involving workers’ compensation.

Geragos called the case “the definition of entrapment,” saying, “Most of these so-called offenses were completely manufactured by the government at the cost of millions of dollars to the taxpayer.”

Jenkins said his side is ready with a counter-argument.

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